The 5 key points Harold makes are:

1. Understanding there will be a shift in the trust dynamic
2. The need not to force the dynamic; let everybody settle into it
3. The need to take the pressure off trying to be the perfect boss
4. Letting the team help and visit them
5. Affirming the team and recognise their contributions

Ask your question: http://www.drharoldhillman.com/ask-harold-show.html

YouTube Link: How to Make Your Promotion Work for Your Team | Episode 1

Ask Harold Episode 1 Transcript:

On this episode we talk about one person’s unexpected dilemma after being promoted into a new position at work.

Hello and welcome to Ask Harold, that’s me, I’m Harold Hillman. I’m a leadership and business coach. I’m also the author of two books on Authentic Leadership: The Impostor Syndrome and Fitting In, Standing Out.

Ask Harold is all about you. On each episode I’ll answer one question from you on the topics of leadership, business and performance; all to help you be more successful at work.

Today we have a great question on this first official Ask Harold episode. This question is from Liam and it’s a pretty common challenge for many of you who get promoted into a bigger role. Liam writes:

I’ve been recently promoted to a management position at work.

I thought this would be a good career move, but I’ve had a number of issues with some of my peers who are now my direct reports as I have been promoted above them. Some of them were even going for the same position I just got.

Also now I feel some people don’t talk as openly as they used to with me. It feels like they are a little guarded with what they think and say around me.

My question is:

What can I do to resolve the awkward feeling I have with my old peers and have them follow me into this new path that I’m taking them on?

Many thanks in advance for your advice,


Liam, your question took me back to my own career path where a few times I was promoted ahead of some of my peers, and it can create some interesting challenges. So there’s 5 things I want you to keep in mind:

1. The first is that there will be a shift in the dynamic. It just comes with the territory of being promoted into the role of manager. You now have opinions about the people who work for you. Your opinion is consequential: you have the potential to make or break their careers. So, they’re going to be just a little bit more guarded around you – don’t stress about that.

2. The second thing is: don’t force the dynamic. Let everybody just settle in to it. Don’t overreact if they seem a bit defensive. Just continue to be you. Consistency is one of the most important components in that “trust dynamic” between people, so let them see that the same person is coming through the door each day.

3. The third thing I’d like for you to do, Liam, is: take the pressure off of yourself to be the perfect boss. Your team needs to sense that you still need them. So be vulnerable, ask for help: that helps them trust you more.

4. The fourth thing is: let your team help. Drop in on them. Noodle over some of your dilemmas with them. Genuinely listen to their suggestions and thank them for helping you think. When people help you think, and when they hear their thinking reflected in your ideas – they are far more likely to be in your corner.

5. The fifth and final point I’d like to make, Liam, is: affirm the team and recognize their contributions. Don’t take it for granted that your former peers know how much you appreciate them. Let others know where and how their thinking has influenced your decisions and your leadership. Be tangible about your commitment to their growth.

Thank you Liam for your question, and thanks to you all for listening to Ask Harold.

On the next episode I’ll answer a question related to a manager struggle to implement a new change program at work.
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